Fr. Gerard was born in France and entered the Oblates of Mary Immaculate at twenty. He was ordained in South Africa, where he worked among the Zulu people. In 1862 he went to Lesotho, where he spent the rest of his life with the Basutho people. A flourishing local Catholic church bears witness to his life and work. He died on May 29, 1914 and was declared Blessed on September 14, 1988 by John Paul II.
Today there are many priests in trouble or who are troubled by the problems of the modern Church. Most of us have our complaints as well, but we have little or no authority as lay persons and can do nothing. As traditionalists we find ourselves all too often as pariahs, even by good priests who should know better but do not seem to know what to do as they are caught between the proverbial rock and hard place.
It is time to pray for priests in earnest, beyond our regular daily mentions to God for a particular priest here and there. Thus, we are honoring Fr. Joseph Gerard, O.M.I., South African Missionary, whose Feast Day is May 29, and who was known not only for his untiring work among the sick and poor, but for his exemplary prayer life. Let us imitate him and be ambassadors before the Court of the Lord, sendingup our entreaties to Heaven on behalf of the souls of priests, especially those priests we know who appear weak in their faith and subject to falling prey to whatever ill wind blows through the Church. Let us pray for our priests and the seminarians coming after them.
Novena For Blessed Joseph Gerard
Father, in Heaven, we thank you for the abundance of Your bless ings in the life of of Joseph Gerard. Keep us faithful to his example and make us messengers of Your Word, so that the Good News of Our Savior Jesus Christ may be heard and heeded in our world today. In Your bounty grant to us the special grace we ask, as we pray through Christ Our Lord. Amen.